"How is Katya's signing going? How many signs does she use independently? Also is she independent with eating/drinking? Can she use normal utensils/cup etc??"
Katya continues to learn ASL. She understands that this works for her, both at home and some what at school (many of the staff there are fluent in basic ASL, and some of the kids know ASL as well). She loves learning new signs, and in fact has learned new ones on her own just from watching "Signing Time" videos--and then we have to try to figure out what she is telling us! Whoops! At times, because language is simply tough for her, Katya looses a sign and then is very frustrated and will try several times even though she does not remember the sign. Often, we can figure it out by asking her lots and lots of yes and no questions and then refresh her memory on the correct way to sign what she wants.
How many signs Katya uses independently is anyone's guess! She uses enough now that we no longer attempt to catalog them! The last time we did so was several years ago and she had well over 100 in addition to the alphabet and numbers at that point! Her vocabulary has continued to grow since that time. Additionally, Katya uses her Ipad with communication app to communicate beyond what she knows in ASL at school. She does not prefer to use her Ipad however, and so mainly signs and uses what verbal language she has here at home.
Katya came home able to independently convey food and drink to her mouth. Please note the word "convey". She has since refined her skills and much improved them!! She has room to grow in this area but no one is concerned probably about it except her Mama at this point. ;-) And yes, Katya uses all normal table utensils and dishes! She also understands setting the table for meals with them and is quite happy to participate in this as it means food is coming soon!
Thank you for asking, Angela, and I hope that you will continue to comment on Katya's blog.